26 May South Mountain

Went out today to see if I could have a little fun off the local hill. The combination of visiting pilots and locals today assured me of having a ride if I decided to go long.

Here we have Allen and Ross setting up, my two wind dummies for the day. Don't launch first: work smart, not hard.

Anyway Ross hops off and climbs right out and I launch 5 minutes later and just get worked by snaky, turbulent crap all the while sinking lower and lower. I finally get a tiny little thermal about 600 feet over the dirt and take it up to join Ross. Both of us were cruising around at 4K dodging airspace and waiting for Allen to take off. The plan was to drag Allen along for a short XC but after he plummeted I was on my own. The goal soon became Francisco Grande and the margarita vortex was very strong however I was able to overcome the pull after stumbling into a 1200 average climb on my final glide which took me to 14K and cloudbase. This was incredible since I couldn't previously get over 7K. Suddenly clouds were popping all over the Santa Cruz task area and my eyes got bigger than my driver arrangements. I headed southeast to the Eds turnpoint, got up to base again, and contemplated the situation.....13:1 to get to Marana-an 80 miler, not bad. Or, I could take advantage of the 10:1 glide into Francisco Grande alcohol and pool resort for a 74 miler. Well all I can say is the margarita was tastier than all my previous beverages today but it sure seemed quiet at the pool without all you guys there.

Sweet flight, sweet air, once again higher than you're supposed to get down here but I'll definitely take it.

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